Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time. – Deuteronomy 4-39:40
There is a short scene in the 1995 film Braveheart that not only sets the tone for the rest of the movie’s plot, but it also speaks a word of inspiration to anyone watching the movie. Young William Wallace’s father, Malcolm, has died in battle. William approaches the wounded and lifeless body of his father, lying on a table with blue light shining down upon him. Suddenly, as if he were living in a dream, William is lying beside his father who turns to him and says, “Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it.”
It’s a powerful moment. Malcolm’s final words to his orphaned son foreshadow all that William would achieve. It’s as if the father has paid a price through his own sacrifice to provide his child an opportunity to grow and become great. And while I understand the inaccuracies that come with Hollywood renditions of history, the scene also conveys the importance that the spirit of his father would continue to have in the life of William.
Many families look at their situation and decide that their children have no hope of accomplishing more – of achieving anything better. This poverty mentality keeps generation after generation in bondage. In truth, opportunities exist for each and every one of us because God made us to fulfill a specific purpose to advance His kingdom purposes. So instead of speaking of all of the things we can and will never do, we fix our hearts on Him and confess that we will be who He made us to be. We seek His will for our lives.
It was important that William Wallace go on to do something great because of the example that his father set for him. He dreamt of a free Scotland and did all he could to pursue it – even laying down his life. William needed to know that he too had the opportunity and the right to go on to do whatever it was that his heart led him to do, because it is in our hearts that God’s love, peace, and grace lives and flourishes. Our minds will convince us to do what is prudent, safe, and logical according to our limited wisdom. Our hearts will lead us to do what is in total alignment with the will of God that lives there in the form of the Holy Spirit. Intelligence will take us so only so far, obedience to Him will take us to eternity.